new zealand electronic poetry centre

T H E R E S E    L L O Y D


After the Op


James Brown came into the library today –
he went into great detail
about a broken cassette
he’d taken out for one of his kids –

The right reel won’t spin,
the tape spools into great ribbons,
it pours out uncontrollably;
the mechanism’s stuffed.

Then he laughed,
and so did I.

I took off my jersey
to reveal my oversized
New Zealand Electronic Poetry Website t-shirt.

Then, when my co-worker asked me
how my Dad was doing now
I made sure I talked loudly,
enough for James to hear –

he doesn’t know the meaning of convalesce,
he’s already trying to work.
After the op the first thing he asked for was a smoke,
Mum’s making friends with the neighbours

and I imagined as I spoke
James Brown at home
writing a poem
about an eloquent young librarian
trapped against her will
in a small suburban library.



Wellington / Bluff, April 2006




Last updated 23 April, 2006